For Jeremy’s 30th birthday, we knew we wanted to visit somewhere special. Somewhere that had “Jeremy” written all over it. Somewhere he could snowboard, soak in a spa, drink whiskey, and sip fancy water with fruit in it like the princess he is. Oh, and somewhere we could escape to for a fabulous, pampered weekend getaway.
Park City, Utah fit the bill.
We were surprised to realize how close Park City is – a nonstop flight from Oakland to Salt Lake City nonstop is under 2 hours, and Park City is only a 35-minute drive from Salt Lake City. Even when you include all the schlepping to and from the airport, that’s roughly the same amount of travel that it takes for us to visit Lake Tahoe. And we take weekend trips to Lake Tahoe all the time. How did we not realize that Park City is just as accessible to the San Francisco Bay Area as Lake Tahoe?! Consider our minds blown.
Jeremy’s birthday is the first week of April, which meant that we were visiting Park City on the tail end of its spring season. This actually turned out to be a benefit, and we definitely recommend visiting Park City in the spring!
In this post, you’ll find everything you need to know about what to do, where to eat, how to get around, where to ski & snowboard, where to chill if you’re NOT skiing, and all of the best Park City, Utah things to do in spring.
Psst: Looking for more snowy weekend getaway destinations? Here are some other posts that you should check out!
- The Best Salt Lake City Ski Resorts
- The 25 Best Salt Lake City Breweries & Brewpubs
- The Best 8 Hikes Near Salt Lake City, Utah
- How to Plan an Amazing Lake Tahoe Winter Trip
Park City, Utah FAQ’s
When is the best time to visit Park City, Utah?
If you’re looking for snow and traveling on a budget, the best time to visit Park City is in the spring. That might come as a surprise – after all, for anyone who likes snow sports (or just enjoys a good snowball fight and a warm hot tub) you’d probably assume the ideal time to visit Park City is during the winter. And yes, Park City is a snowy winter wonderland, ringed with mountain peaks just waiting to be skied down or snowshoed across!
But winter is also high season, and high season means crowds and high prices. So while Park City typically gets snow as early as mid-November, the snow lasts all the way until April – making February, March, and early April the best time to visit Park City for snowy fun with a smaller price tag!
Aside from being emptier and cheaper, Park City gets a lot sillier during the spring season after the tourists have cleared out, too. Our first trip to Park City was during Jeremy’s spring break, on the first week of April – which was, incidentally, also the week of Jeremy’s 30th birthday, the real reason for our trip. While everyone else celebrated spring flowers and chocolate and bunnies on Easter Sunday, Jeremy hit the slopes – only to discover that he was the only one wearing like, snowboarding gear. Everyone else was wearing fuzzy onesies, 80’s ski outfits they found at vintage thrift stores (or possibly dragged out of the back of the closet) and full-on costumes, like it was Halloween.
One of the coolest things about Park City skiing in the spring is Spring Gruv. Spring Gruv is a silly festival that falls around the end of the ski season each year, in late March and early April. And when I say silly, I do mean silly. The lack of crowds this time of year clears space for some of the most ridiculous, hilarious activities we’ve ever seen performed on skis and snowboards.
One of the main highlights of this ridiculous festival is Pond Skimming, when 100 intrepid souls hurtle themselves down a mountain in order to attempt to make it across a frigid, but definitely not frozen, pond on their snowboard or skis. It’s kind of like Ninja Warrior meets the Winter Olympics, and it’s amazing. Here’s a video of a bunch of people flinging themselves into freezing cold water while wearing ridiculous costumes.
So obviously, you can see why Park City was calling out to us for Jeremy’s 30th birthday. We’re suckers for ridiculousness.
But Spring Gruv isn’t the only reason to head to Park City during the springtime! Here are some other reasons why visiting Park City in the spring is an excellent choice.
- The crowds have thinned out. Hate crowds? Us too. Especially when you’re not exactly a pro at navigating yourself through throngs of people in skis or snowboards. Less crowds in town mean less crowds on the mountains, too!
- It’s actually kinda warm out. During our trip, Park City’s temperatures hovered around 50 degrees – even up on the mountain. That means less restrictive layers, no freezing cold fingers, and no beard icicles! You can make do with a light jacket and some sunglasses. Although we definitely saw plenty of locals wearing even less than that….
- You can score some deals. From resort deals to sales on gear and clothing, you’ll find prices falling around the end of ski season in the early spring. This is great, because it means you can spend more money on things like fancy spa treatments if you happen to be the not-actually-into-skiing type (ahem: Lia).
Is Park City, Utah expensive?
There’s no way around it: Park City isn’t the most budget-friendly destination. Although if you’re prepared to splurge, Park City definitely delivers.
That said, there are a few ways to save money during your visit to Park City. We scoured this guide before our visit, and came up with a few other ideas too. Here are our favorite tips.
- Visit during the spring. During the spring, prices (and minimum stay requirements) at resorts fall, gear goes on sale, and everything gets a little bit cheaper.
- Rent your gear in Salt Lake City. We stopped by a gear shop on our drive from Salt Lake City airport to Park City. The shop was Christy Sports Ski and Patio (where you can buy snowboarding gear AND patio furniture in the same place! …. Cool?) and our gear rental ended up being about $100 for 3 days. You can also book your rental online – here’s one that’s about as cheap as what we paid.
- Bring snacks or stop at a grocery store. Eating out for every meal gets expensive – not to mention it isn’t exactly the healthiest thing. We recommend picking a couple of must-visit restaurants (like the 2 we recommend below) and stocking up on snack food to tide you over between meals as much as possible. Instant oatmeal packets are perfect for breakfast if your room has a coffee maker to heat water, and grab-and-go snacks like protein bars, almonds, peanut butter pretzels, string cheese and dried fruit are fantastic for keeping your energy up on the mountain. We also treated ourselves to the epic breakfast buffet at our hotel, which honestly kept us full all day long!
- Bring the necessities with you on the mountain. When I say “necessities,” I’m talking about things like sunscreen, chapstick, a re-usable water bottle, etc. We pack everything we need into our handy Hydration Day Pack.
- Skip the rental car. You can actually get around Park City entirely with inexpensive public transportation. We rented a car for our trip, and we really didn’t need it. Plus, the parking expenses added up fast, especially in downtown Park City!
- Bring your own goggles, gloves, and ski clothes. The less gear you have to rent, the more you’ll save, and these things can easily be packed in your suitcase! Jeremy recommends these goggles and these gloves. For ski clothes, he always wears his rain pants over his hiking pants (over his wool under-layer when it’s cold out). On top, he layers a wool long sleeve shirt with his rain jacket. He stays warm and dry all day long, even though let’s be honest, he’s not exactly the most graceful of snowboarders. He’s also been known to wear a bike helmet and a beanie instead of renting a helmet, which makes Lia nervous, but apparently, it’s legit. By the way, here are the femme equivalents of all of those items: rain pants, hiking pants, wool leggings, wool shirt, rain jacket. We’ve included more packing tips in the next section!
What should I pack for Park City, Utah?
Packing properly for skiing or snowboarding is crucial to ensuring not just your safety, but your enjoyment. Ever heard that saying, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing?” As snowflakes swirled around us in the mountains of Park City Utah, I was reminded of that saying – and we stayed toasty warm during our trip!
In addition to helping you stay safe and warm, packing your own gear can save you money in rentals. Here are our tried and true travel essentials for snow sports:
- The Essentials: You’ll need to bring sunscreen, chapstick, sunglasses, and an insulated re-usable water bottle with you every day. We pack everything we need into our handy Hydration Day Pack.
- Warm Base Layer: Layering is crucial for snowy days on the mountain, and you’ll need to start with a layer of insulation on top and bottom! We love merino wool for its temperature and moisture regulating properties, and we recommend wearing a merino wool base layer (aka long underwear) underneath your clothing. We wear both a base layer top (this is mine and this is Jeremy’s) and Merino Wool Base Layer Leggings (Jeremy has this pair.) While our wool clothing is super soft and not at all itchy, if you prefer another material, we recommend silk as an alternative (women’s top, women’s bottoms, men’s top, men’s bottoms).
- Water-Resistant Snow Pants: Depending on your level of snow experience, you may or may not already own a pair of heavy-duty lined snow pants. If you do, you can skip this section! If not, read on. Lia has yet to find a pair of snow pants that actually fit her size 16 hips and allows her to walk like a normal human being, so her workaround is layering a pair of her water-resistant hiking pants over her base layer or a pair of lined leggings. Jeremy has a full-on overall situation, but for years he snowboarded in his base layer plus his hiking pants, too! It’s so nice to stay dry and not have to schlep around in heavy pants.
- Wool Socks: Make sure you don’t just bring run-of-the-mill acrylic socks – they won’t keep your feet warm while you’re out in the snow! Instead, bring socks that are primarily made of soft, heat-regulating wool, like these or these.
- Packable Down Jacket: Your jacket is one of the most important things you’ll wear while snowboarding or skiing. It has a big job – namely, keeping you warm but not sweaty, allowing you to actually move your arms, and letting you shred the gnar for hours without feeling heavy or restrictive. Some folks purchase special jackets just for skiing, but we’re too stingy for that, so instead, we use a combination of jackets we can wear year-round. We recommend wearing a lightweight, travel-friendly packable down jacket for warmth – I have this down jacket and Jeremy has this down jacket – and then cover our down jackets with a lightweight rain jacket (his & hers).
- Gloves: Don’t play in the snow without gloves on! Jeremy and I both have these wool gloves that work with touchscreens because I have a hard enough time using my phone without wearing gloves. Over those gloves, we layer on a thicker pair for snow protection.
- Buff: Buffs are kind of like tiny, stretchy infinity scarves for outdoor activity. They’re stretchy loops of fabric that keep your neck warm and can be pulled up over your mouth, ears, and nose when the wind is bitingly cold! We both wear merino wool buffs.
- Winter Sports Gear: If you’re planning to go skiing or snowboarding on your trip, bringing a few things can easily be packed in your suitcase will save you cash on rentals. We recommend these goggles and these gloves for snowboarding, and these travel-friendly crampons for snowshoeing.
For more packing tips, head over to our essential ski trip packing list:
How to Get Around Park City?
Park City has one of the most surprisingly robust -not to mention inexpensive – public transportation systems we’ve ever seen. Once you get yourself to Park City, you won’t need a car. You can get to Park City from Salt Lake City using the PC-SLC bus from Salt Lake Central Station- more information here.
Here’s how to get around Park City once you arrive:
- Free Downtown Trolley: Park City has a free trolley running the length of Main Street. How cute is that? It’s like being in real-life Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood (or Daniel Tiger, which our 3-year-old niece is OBSESSED with. We think she’d love Park City). The Trolley runs from 10:00a.m. until 10:00p.m. and connects to the Old Town Transit Center, where you can transfer to other routes and buses.
- Free Buses: Yep, the buses are free too – and they take you all over the place. View the routes here and the schedule here, or just head to the Park City bus tracker to plan out your route!
- Free Hotel Shuttles: Most area hotels, including ours, have a free hotel shuttle that will take you to downtown or the nearest ski lift.
- Lyft: For anywhere that a shuttle, bus, or trolley won’t take you, you can just use Lyft. If you’ve never used Lyft before, make sure you grab a discount code when you sign up – here are the current promos. (FYI, we prefer Lyft to Uber because Uber treats their employees like dirt and thinks they’re above the law).
Things to Do in Park City, Utah
Park City may be a snow-lovers paradise, but for those of us who aren’t exactly athletically gifted (ahem: Lia) it may not seem like there’s much to do in Park City. But there’s actually plenty of things to do in Park City to keep you entertained while your friends/family/partner are racing at breakneck speeds towards certain doom on top of freezing cold mountains. Here are our picks for the best things to do in Park City that aren’t skiing or snowboarding!
Experience Park City, Utah Skiing & Snowboarding
You have two choices for skiing and snowboarding in Park City: Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain. Deer Valley is for skiiers only, and it connects directly with several local resorts including Stein Eriksen Lodge, which is where we stayed.
But we’re into snowboarding, not skiing. Er, well, one of us is. The other one is too clumsy to be allowed to do either. So it was a no-brainer to pick our resort because we only had one option: Park City Mountain.
About Park City Mountain
Park City Mountain is owned by Vail Resorts, and like many of the Vail Resorts, it is sprawling. How big, you ask? Park City Mountain is the largest lift-served ski resort in the United States!
Suffice it to say, you will not be seeing the whole mountain in a day. There are 348 trails, 41 lifts, and 7,300 acres of skiable, snowboardable … shreddable terrain.
If you’ve never gotten the chance to see (or ski) a resort this size, you can expect tons of lifts, endless possibilities for what to ride, dozens of food and drink options, and something for everybody! Park City Mountain has a great ski school for first-timers, and everyone there is incredibly helpful and kind. The park is great for all types of skiers or snowboarders, and an absolute must for anyone going to Park City!
The main Base Lodge at Park City Mountain is on the south side of the park. This is the best part of the park to start your day in, because there are all levels of runs: Green Circles (Easy), Blue Squares (Intermediate), Black Diamond (Difficult), and Double Black Diamond (Insanity).
The higher up the mountain you go, the more challenging the runs. A good starter route is to take the Payday Express lift to Bonanza Express. Here you’ll get dropped off at about 9,500 feet elevation and be treated to a wonderful 360-degree view. Once there, you can take Homerun all the way down for a perfect warm up. This route also takes you by the Viking Yurt, a nice place to pop in for lunch. You could also take a snowmobile up to it for dinner!
The Base Area also will take you to the Town Runs, short blues that end…yep, IN TOWN. Like…step out of your skis or board and you’re on Main Street. This is a great option if you’re like us and your partner doesn’t want to be on the mountain all day…or ever. I had the pleasure of coming off of a run to be met by Lia, who was filming and cheering me on like I was in Little League. And yes, it feels just as good at 30 as it did at 10.
The other end of the park is Canyons Village, at the north end of the park. On this side, there are a lot of black diamond and double black options, with a good handful of blues. There are not a lot of green trials, and the few there generally act as a bridge to the harder runs.
I’d say use this side of the park if you’re on the advanced side of the spectrum. Unless you’re the world’s bravest beginner and WANT to ride runs called Massacre, One Hundred Turns, or Free Fall.
One other important thing to note: Canyons Village is home to The Orange Bubble Express, the country’s first enclosed and heated ski lift. Which is SO cool, and also crazy comfortable.
Unfortunately, getting to the Canyons side from the main area while on the mountain requires some advanced routes and gondola hopping, but luckily you can grab a free shuttle between Canyons Village and the Base Lodge.
- Park City Travel Tip: If you catch the last lift on the north side and it’s a Friday, stick around to meet the Avalanche Dogs in Canyons Village at 4:30. The Avalanche Dogs are the adorable band of hard-working Golden Retrievers that come to the rescue in the event of an avalanche, and if you’re a dog person like I am, this is the best way to meet them other than being in an actual avalanche.
Psst: Wanting to ski at additional resorts in the area? Check out this guide to the 4 best Salt Lake City ski resorts!
Explore Downtown Park City
Downtown Park City is absolutely adorable. The long Main Street is lined with shops, restaurants, and bars. Definitely spend a day or night just wandering up and down Main Street and popping into anywhere that strikes your fancy!
One of our favorite spots was Atticus Coffee, Books, & Teahouse, an adorable little local coffee shop slash bookstore (we’re suckers for coffee and books).
We also recommend checking out High West Saloon to take a tour – just be sure to reserve a spot in advance.
Have a Spa Day
Where there are snow-loving athletes, there are spas. In theory, the spas are to help the aching muscles from all of the athletic activity you’re supposed to be doing, but you know what? Sitting at a computer all day makes MY muscles ache, and that’s hard too. Or something.
Anyway, there are some epic spas in Park City. By far, the best one is in Stein Eriksen Lodge, which also happens to be Utah’s only 5-star spa!
If you aren’t a guest at Stein Eriksen, you’ll need to book one of their luxurious, award-winning spa treatments in order to access the spa – take a look at their spa menu. But you do NOT have to be a guest at the lodge to book a spa treatment, and if you are a guest, you don’t have to book a spa treatment at all to enjoy the spa!
In either case, plan to spend some extra time soaking it all up: you can easily spend a full day just relaxing in the spa, even if your treatment only lasts for an hour! It’s easy to spend an entire day in this luxurious haven of warm bubbly water and soothing tea, gazing out over the snowy mountains as less relaxed people fly down mountains doing incredibly un-relaxing things.
Because we were guests at Stein Eriksen Lodge, as soon as Jeremy left to go do flips on the mountains or whatever, I slipped on my cozy slippers (I love when hotels give you cozy slippers!) and headed straight for the spa. It was like, 100 feet from my hotel room, which mean that I was panting by the time I arrived because there were like 5 stairs and we were at a high altitude. So I definitely earned my day of relaxation.
In the spa, I was handed a cozy fleece robe and given free rein of the spa facilities, even though I didn’t have a spa treatment booked.
Anyway, I maximized every inch of that spa. I swam in the outdoor pool, then relaxed in the outdoor hot-tub. Then I sat in the wet sauna, and then the dry sauna, and then the INDOOR hot tub, and then the indoor Nordic ice bath.
I repeated this cycle until I could wade into the Nordic ice bath up to my stomach, breathing deeply like some kind of Nordic yogic goddess, thinking “mind over body, mind over body, my toes are numb, mind over body….”
But you know what? Cycling between hot and cold and sweat and ice felt AMAZING. Also, I drank about 16 cups of the delicious tea they were serving, which definitely did some kind of herbally, purifying magic.
After dunking myself in and out of various pools, I took a refreshing shower and then played around in front of the mirror rubbing lotions and stuff into my skin and making glamorous faces at the mirror.
Note: This all ended up being excellent practice for the time I jumped into a fjord in Norway in the middle of January…
Eventually, I took my extremely well-hydrated skin into yet anther cozy lounge and relaxed under a blanket while reading a book, gazing out into the snow, and snacking on tea cookies. It was the perfect way to spend a relaxing day NOT skiing or snowboarding!
Take a Snowshoe Hike
Park City is famous for its mountains, and there are more ways than one to experience the beauty of the Wasatch Mountain Range! The mountains are crisscrossed with trails, which can be explored via hiking in the warmer months and snow-shoeing during winter and spring.
Snow-Shoeing is an excellent way to explore the snowy peaks of Park City without needing athletic skills more complex than walking. We went snow-shoeing for the first time ever in Salt Lake City, and it was absolutely incredible – it’s my new favorite winter sport! To save some cash, bring your own snow-proof winter boots – these are mine, and yes, I did go snow-shoeing in them! You can book a guided snow-shoeing trip with White Pine Touring, recommended by our friend Jess from A Passion and a Passport (who has an excellent guide to visiting Park City for non-skiiers).
In the springtime, the snow begins to melt and expose the lower elevation trails of Park City even while the higher elevation trails still require snow-shoes. So if you’re looking for scenic views of snow-covered mountains and trees but don’t feel like strapping on snow shoes, head to this round-up of the best spring hikes in Park City and pick a path.
Hit the Trail on Foot
Park City is one of those outdoorsy mountain towns where everyone looks like they’d love nothing more than to hike to the top of the nearest peak. And can you really blame them? When you’re constantly surrounded by this Rocky Mountain landscape and all its snow-capped peaks, crystal-clear rivers, and wildflower-ringed alpine lakes, how could you not want to explore it all?
Park City’s location east of Salt Lake City gives it amazing proximity to not one, but two mountain ranges: the Wasatch to the west, and the Uintas to the east. While you can definitely hit the trails in Park City itself and see some beautiful sights, don’t miss an opportunity to head into the mountains for some high alpine beauty (once the deep winter snow melts away).
- Three Divide Lakes Trail: (5 miles, 600 ft elevation gain) This 5-mile out-and-back trail in the Uinta Mountains features several little lakes and moderate up- and downhill sections. While it doesn’t gain much elevation for a mountain hike, the trailhead sits above 10,000 feet, so you might huff and puff if you aren’t used to the altitude. The hike begins at Crystal Lake Trailhead and skirts the base of the towering Mount Watson. You’ll have killer mountain, lake, and wildflower (depending on the season) views the whole time. This hike is within the Mirror Lake Scenic Corridor Recreation Area and requires a pass to park ($6 for 3 days) — which you can pick up at a ranger station or a self-service station along the highway. You can also use an America the Beautiful Interagency National Park Pass if you have one.
- Lofty Lake Loop Trail: (4.5 miles, 1000 ft elevation gain) Another gem of a hike in the Uintas, the Lofty Lake Loop Trail is a 4.5 mile loop that’ll impress you with glistening lakes, alpine meadows, and surrounding peaks. The trail includes some elevation gain and loss — about 1,000 feet — and sits at a high elevation of around 10,000 feet. While you could hike the loop in either direction, locals recommend going counter-clockwise to make sure you’re going uphill on the steepest, most slippery parts. The Lofty Lake Loop Trail begins at Pass Lake Trailhead, and, like Three Divide Lakes, requires a Forest Service pass ($6 for 3 days) or an Interagency Pass.
- Union Pacific Rail Trail: (Up to 28 miles, mostly flat) No matter what time of year you visit Park City, you can always enjoy the Union Pacific Rail Trail. In the winter, this trail is great for Nordic skiing. In the summer, you can walk or rent a bike. The trail is 28 miles long, so unless you’re training for something big, you can choose a smaller section to enjoy. Part of the trail goes right through Park City, so you can get out and hit the trail without ever leaving town. The location of this trail also makes it a perfect outing if you decide to forgo a rental car — no need to drive to a trailhead. If you’d rather pedal than walk and didn’t bring a bike, you can rent one at Aloha Ski and Snowboard Rental for a couple hours or the whole day.
- Park City Mountain trails – As famous as Park City is for its snowy, mountain playground, you don’t have to come in the winter to enjoy the ski resorts. In the summer, these resorts make for some fantastic, scenic hiking. And while it’s super satisfying to hike to the top of a mountain, sometimes it’s nice to take a chairlift to the top… then hike down. The beautiful thing is that you can have it either way when you hike at Park City Mountain — and you can choose how long of a hike you’re up for. Check out this map for summer trails and the resort’s website for chairlift details.
Play in the Snow (no athleticism required)
Who says you need to be athletic to play in the snow?? Not me, that’s for sure! Here are three entirely non-athletic ways to experience Park City’s magical winter wonderland, no athletic ability required:
- Go Snow-Mobiling: The least athletic snow activity of all, snow-mobiling is a great way to spend a day on the mountain and soak up the spring snow without having to actually, like, exert athletic effort. You can rent a snow-mobile through late April from Red Pine Tours.
- Visit the Utah Olympic Park: Head to the former site of the Park City Winter Olympics to partake in some good old-fashioned snowy fun. You can pick up a Spring Gold Pass which includes unlimited day use of the Discovery Course, Canyon Course, Summit Course and Drop Tower.
- Ride an Alpine Coaster: Careen through the snowy mountain on a sled at the Alpine Coaster in Park City Mountain! Unlike regular sledding, you’ll have a seatbelt and be attached to a track, which personally makes me much more inclined to actually enjoy myself instead of just being terrified.
Catch a Fish
Birds chirping. The sound of a rushing river cascading over rocks. The thrill of a fresh catch on the end of your line.
At least, that’s how I imagine fly fishing. Look, I’m gonna be honest with you: I have never personally gone fly fishing. But Park City is close to one of the best trout fisheries in the country! So if you’re going to try it, this is definitely the spot.
Whether you’re a skilled and seasoned angler or aren’t even sure what fly fishing is, you’ll have an amazing, River Runs Through it-inspired experience with this guided tour. Don’t worry about packing or renting gear — you’ll get to borrow everything you need, from the waders to the rod. You will need to purchase a fishing license, though. Whatever you may (or may not) catch, you can count on the scenery to make this a lovely trip on a beautiful Utah river.
Visit a Museum
Learning about a destination’s history always makes for a richer trip, and Park City is no exception. You can learn all about this town’s unique western history at the Park City Museum on Main Street. The museum has a great range of exhibits, from Park City’s wild west days to its modern status as a world-class ski destination. One of the museum highlights is the original “state-of-the-art” (in 1885…) Territorial Jail in the basement of historic City Hall, which is part of the museum building.
If you’re interested in learning Park City’s history but aren’t the museum type, the museum also offers a walking tour along Main Street. The tour covers the town’s historic western architecture, notable events, and prominent Park City characters.
Take a Tour
While Park City is known for its outdoor recreation — especially in the winter months — there are still plenty of things to do when the snow isn’t falling. And sometimes, it’s just nice to sit back and put your plans in the hands of a local guide. From ghost tours to food tours, Park City has some tours that may surprise (and delight) you.
- Ghost Tour: Call it historical or call it haunted — either way, Park City has some spooky stories to tell. You can learn all about the town’s mining past and local ghosts with a guide from Park City Ghost Tours. The folks behind these tours are history teachers, filmmakers, and students of the paranormal — and they’re sharing every last scary Park City story with you. The tours are led on foot and take place on Main Street every evening.
- Main Street Food Tour: Don’t get me wrong, walking tours are great and all, but when you throw in a culinary adventure to the mix, that’s a tour you simply can’t miss. Park City Food Tours lets you taste (quite literally) a little bit of everything this town has to offer. This tour takes you to some of Park City’s best restaurants, where the tour guides know the chefs and dishes that’ll make you swoon. In addition to the food, you can also expect to learn a bit about Park City’s history. This tour starts on one end of Main Street and ends down the hill — but after you’ve stuffed yourself full of Park City’s finest, you don’t even have to worry about walking back up. There’s a free trolley that will make the trip for you!
- Hiking, Biking, and Soaking Tours: As you now know, Park City is a hiker’s paradise, with miles of mountain trails just steps from downtown. But Mountain Vista Touring dressed up its tours with a bit more than just hiking. This company offers tours in both summer and winter, via bike, snowshoe, or foot. We’re particularly excited about the Pedal & Sip tour, which cruises along the historic Rail Trail before stopping for a tour and tastings at Alpine Distilling. Or this hike & soak tour, which combines two of the best mountain town activities for a memorable half day tour. After a couple of hours on the trail, you’ll relieve your sore muscles in the warm water of a limestone crater.
Eat (& Drink) Something Delicious
Although we were attempting to reign in our budget during our trip to Park City, we did find a few gems that were WELL worth it.
Start with a specialty coffee from Pink Elephant, who serves the best cup in town. You’ll just have to go through a hipster AF boutique and a hipster AF barbershop in order to find the coffee shop, which is up the stairs. In case you’re wondering: the coffee shop is hipster AF, too. Not that we mind.
If you only eat at 2 restaurants, let it be these two.
- High West Saloon: This distillery serves up the best whiskey in Utah, plus some of the best food in Park City! We first tried to get a table here on a Saturday night, which was a mistake – the waiting list had already filled up. Even in spring, this place is poppin’. But we came back the next day for lunch, and the hype is so worth it. We recommend the dark-chocolate elk chili, which comes with a grilled cheese sandwich for the perfect comfort food side. The banana pudding is also to die for. And make sure you get a whiskey flight, too!
- Five5eeds: We went a little bit out of our way for this spot, which is tucked unceremoniously in a shopping mall close to downtown. But it absolutely blew us away. From the excellent coffee (the spot was created by Aussies from Melbourne, who make some of the best coffee in the world) to unique, expertly created dishes, we kept coming back for breakfast and lunch (take note: the restaurant closes before dinner). Our favorite dish by far was the short rib benedict – my mouth is still watering.
For dessert, we recommend s’mores. Nowhere on earth does s’mores the way Park City does (and as competitive s’mores connoisseurs who have been known to go well out of their way for a good bottomless s’mores bar – like the one we flipped our sh** over in Yosemite – this is something we take very seriously).
- Here’s an excellent list of where to get s’mores and s’mores
accessoriesdesserts in Park City, from the budget-friendly $7 S’mores Pizza at Park City Pizza Company to not one, but TWO complimentary DIY s’mores bars at Montage Deer Valley Resort and St. Regis Deer Valley.
Where to Stay in Park City, Utah
Park City is full of cozy, luxurious resorts, but there are a few budget-friendly options to be found as well. Here are our picks for where to stay in Park City on any budget!
Stay in a Vacation Rental
If you’re on a budget, your best bet is to rent a VRBO. This is the cheapest way to stay in Park City, especially during the spring when demand for accommodations has decreased, bringing down prices for algorithm-controlled vacation rentals as well. We always recommend booking directly through VRBO because it has fewer fees and more flexible cancellation policies than Airbnb – also, we’re not fans of Airbnb’s unethical track record and lax security.
One thing to note before you book is how far you’ll be from Park City’s free transit. If you’re too far away you’ll need to rent a car or take Lyft to get around, which will eat up all of those accommodation savings – so it may be worth it to spend a little bit more and stay closer to town. We love this super modern Chalet which is within walking distance to the slopes!
Stay in a Hostel
Skiing and snowboarding can be an expensive hobby, but staying in a hostel can help cut costs while keeping you close to the slopes. The Park City Hostel offers an upscale hostel experience with large common areas, a complete kitchen and event spaces.
You can choose dorm rooms with cozy bunks or private double rooms each with plenty of warm blankets for the snowy nights
Stay in a Boutique Hotel
Canyons Village is part of Park City Mountain and includes a number of resorts and hotels. The Silverado Lodge Park City is quite affordable depending on the season and day of the week.
You’ll be a 10-minute walk away from the Park City Mountain lift, and easy access to free shuttles that will take you to the Base Lodge and the downtown Town Run lift, where you can pick up other free transit options.
Stay at a Luxurious Lodge
So, we don’t typically opt for the most luxurious 5-star resort in town (in fact, it’s the ONLY 5-star resort in town). But it was Jeremy’s 30th birthday, which is a BIG DEAL, so we decided to treat ourselves just this once and stay in Stein Eriksen Lodge, the “World’s Best Ski Resort.” And you guys …. ohmygosh.
From the fancy fruit water in the lobby (yes, we are easily impressed) to the luxurious spa to the breathtaking mountain views to the ski lift right outside the door, which we watched while eating one of the most impressive breakfast buffets of our entire lives, Stein Eriksen Lodge was the perfect place to splurge for a special occasion. We had an incredible time and would highly recommend a stay at Stein Eriksen Lodge if you’re looking to ball out on something truly amazing! Check prices and availability for Stein Eriksen Lodge.
Still looking for a place to stay in Park City? We recommend using Booking.com to find the best deal. It’s a search engine that compiles all hotels on one booking site, saving you time and sanity! Click this big, pretty button to compare pricing on Booking.com.
Are you packing up your ski gear and booking a trip to Park City, Utah this spring? Are you more of a snow bunny or a spa … person? Drop us a comment below!
Psst: Looking for more weekend getaway destinations? Here are some other posts that you should check out!
- The 4 Best Salt Lake City Ski Resorts
- The Ultimate Salt Lake City Brewery Guide
- The Best 8 Hikes Near Salt Lake City, Utah
- Ski Trip Packing List: 32 Essentials to Pack for the Snow
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Disclaimer: We received a complimentary stay at Stein Eriksen Lodge as well as lift tickets from Visit Park City. All fruit-water guzzling, hot-tub-hogging, and relaxation room snack hoarding are 100% our own and totally not their fault.
Our Top Travel Tips & Resources
- Booking Flights: To score flight deals, search on Google Flights or Kayak. Money-saving tips: fly mid-week or on the weekend; fly carry-on only on a budget airline; and take red-eyes or early morning flights.
- Accommodations: We usually stay in budget-friendly vacation rentals, boutique hotels or private rooms in hostels. We use Booking.com to book hotels (we love their flexible cancellation policy) and Hostelworld to book hostels (low deposit, easy change/cancellation, and excellent reviews). For vacation rentals, we prefer to book using VRBO because they've got lower fees and better support than Airbnb, and we're not fans of Airbnb's unethical track record. You can also book vacation rentals on Expedia and Hotels.com. We also use TrustedHousesitters as both hosts (for our home and our fur-child) and travelers!
- Travel Insurance: We always, always, ALWAYS buy travel insurance for international trips, and we STRONGLY suggest it - visit our Travel Insurance Guide to find out why. We recommend either World Nomads or SafetyWing for international travel insurance. SafetyWing is one of the few policies that covers Covid-19, and they have excellent monthly policies that are perfect for Digital Nomads and long term travelers!
- Travel Credit Card: We book all of our trips on our favorite travel credit card. Not only do we earn cash back that we can spend on more travel, but the card offers fantastic travel perks like travel insurance, trip delay and cancellation coverage, lost baggage reimbursement, and rental car coverage, which helps protect us on our travels. Learn more here.
- Vaccines & Meds: We use the travel guides on the CDC website to research recommended medications and vaccines for international trips. We always recommend getting every vaccine recommended by the CDC! You can get them at your primary care doctor's office or a walk-in pharmacy.
- Tours: We love booking guided tours, especially food tours and walking tours, to get a local's perspective and a history lesson while sight-seeing! We book our tours using Viator and GetYourGuide.
- Transportation: We use Rome2Rio to figure out how to get from place to place, and book local transportation online using Bookaway wherever we can. When we book a rental car, we use DiscoverCars to compare rental companies and find the best deal.
- Luggage Storage: Whenever we're checking out early or taking advantage of a long layover, we use LuggageHero to safely store our luggage while we're running around. Use the code PRACTICALW for 2 hours of free luggage storage on us.
- VPN Service: A VPN keeps your digital information (like website login details, bank info, etc) safe, even when you're connected to an unsecured network while traveling. Plus, it lets you use Netflix & other streaming sites abroad! We use NordVPN. Use the code WANDERLUSTPROMO when you sign up!
- What to Pack: Here are the travel essentials that we bring on every trip. We also have packing lists for hot weather, cold weather, and many more. Take a look at all of our packing guides!
You should tell people that skiing/snowboarding is often not possible in Park City in April. The lifts usually close down by April 15. This year they’re closing on April 7th.
Lia Garcia says
That’s a good point! We visited in the first week of April and maybe we lucked out. We’re so used to ski season lasting well into May like it does here in CA, I guess!
Love this post! We visited family in Park City in January during the Sundance Film Fest.
I am also a klutz and not capable of skiing or snowboarding – made worse by a fear of open heights so the chair lift is a no-go for me. However, if you are cool with the chair lift, but not a skier, you can often go to the ticket window and ask for a foot pass. This is usually significantly cheaper than a lift ticket but allows you to ride the chair lifts as a pedestrian. Its a great way to see more of the mountain and meet up with friends for a meal or drink in between runs at some of the outposts on the trails.
If you are a total newbie to skiing, I highly recommend ski lessons at Deer Valley – they are worth the cost. If you just need practice, they also have an epic bunny hill (that doesn’t involve chairlifts so I love it).
Finally, next time you go, its worth the splurge to have dinner at Fireside Dining at Empire Canyon Lodge. They serve a 4 course dinner that includes raclette and chocolate fondue. If you want to be really decadent, you have enjoy a short sleigh ride in between one of the courses.
Lia Garcia says
Fantastic suggestions, thank you Christina! We’ll definitely use these tips on our next visit.
I never thought that Utah was this pretty!! I adore towns with mountain views and now I’m debating on buying my land in Utah to build a home. My boyfriend has been there and absolutely loved it! 🙂 Thanks for this great, informative article.
Lia Garcia says
Ummmm yes definitely buy a ranch in Utah, and then invite us over please! 😀
I AM CONVINCED!!! And I never would have thought to visit in the spring! I only just recently started snow sports, so I’d appreciate less crowds. How was the snow though?
Lia Garcia says
Jeremy says that the snow was man-made during our trip, so it wasn’t the BEST quality. But it varies from year to year, and some years it stays snowy even later in the year – even 40 minutes away in Salt Lake City, it was still snowing like crazy. But you should definitely go! Park City is like, Disney for snow sports 😛
I’ll add that even if you go during peak snow season, there is no guarantee. We were in Park City in Jan this year for the Sundance Film Fest and they had not had a good snowfall yet that season so everything on the slopes was manufactured and there was no snow on the ground which is super unusual. It ruled out doing snowshoeing and cross country, but if you were a downhill skier you didn’t have a wasted vacation 🙂
Kimmie Conner says
Always LOVE your super comprehensive posts and amazing getaway ideas Lia! this getaway is not on my list for sure! 🙂
Kimmie Conner says
Now on my list***** NOW**** oh dear that was a bad typo!
Lia Garcia says
Bahahahaha thanks for the save 😛
What a cool idea to visit for springtime skiing/snowboarding! The boyfriend has been to Park City before but I haven’t so I was super excited to read the post. So interesting that the locals come out in vintage onesies to ski haha must’ve been a sight to see, Jeremy all decked out in snowboarding gear thinking he’s looking normal, but actually he’s the “weird one.” Was the snow pretty icy since it was later in the season?
Lia Garcia says
It was man-made snow, so it was a little bit icy. But that was definitely made up for by the fun of Spring Gruv and the lack of crowds!